Monday, May 24, 2010

Pizza Time!

Saturday, April 24, I started something I never dreamed of starting: a diet.
Yep. I started a freakin' diet. It's been a tough month but I've been powering through it. I'm trying to stay positive and upbeat about the whole thing but it's hard. It's like quitting cold turkey - I'm an emotional wreck. I'm hungry a lot. Whenever I see food, I get overwhelmed with sadness and longing for it. When I indulge (I try to at least once a week but I don't go overboard), I feel guilty. It's a love/hate thing that's really taking its toll on me but in the end, I will benefit and it will be worth it.
While I was at the grocery store, I had to buy the Cooking Light magazine pizza issue. I mean, I love pizza more than anything and the fact that I had been without it this long (except the "diet approved" pizza) was driving me crazy. So I declared that we would make pizza on Sunday.
It started with the sauce.
Making sauce
The recipe came straight from the magazine and was easier than I would have ever imagined. One major upside to this whole diet thing is that I'm not afraid to cook anymore. I used to watch Food Network all day, every day and I had all the cooking techniques down but I was afraid to apply them in my every day life. This has all changed AND I can apply everything I have learned watching Food Network to my food. Including making this very basic but really delicious sauce.
Then came time for the dough.
My old man has a book called Vegan With A Vengeance where we usually take our pizza dough recipe from but this time, we followed the magazine's recipe. Only we missed one major step: the dough needed to sit in the fridge for 24 hours. WTF??!!! I can't wait that long! Vegan With A Vengeance has a shorter prep time with only 1 hour of wait time for the dough to rise but we didn't make it because it calls for sugar in the recipe. Sweet baby Jeebus! What are we to do??? After pulling and stretching the dough, it was still too sticky. I was ready to give up until we decided that since Publix sells pizza dough, we should just get that and let our original batch go back to the fridge. All was not lost!
Raw dough
Then came the topping.
My original idea was to make a Pizza Margherita but we forgot the basil. Why, oh why?! I got the damn fresh mozzarella but I left the basil! Now it would just be a basic cheese pizza. Meh. That's okay.
Dough with homemade sauce Raw pizza

Into the oven with you, little pizza! You look good, you smell good and now...the moment of truth. What will you look like when you come out? What will you taste like?
131/365: Homemade pizza

Success! The pizza was amazing! Although we had a little "dough disaster", it was still pretty awesome. I'll definitely have to try it again and maybe get all fancy with it and see how it goes.

To more PizzAdventures!

"The Others" + "The Sixth Sense" + J.J. Abrams = "LOST" series finale

Last night, Lost ended in a 2 1/2 hour journey through a typical Lost episode: WTF.
There was crying (not by me, though)
There was confusion (definitely by me)
And there were laughs

Here's a backstory about me and Lost:
In 2004, my old man kept telling me about this show about an island. At the time, my TV watching was limited to what my co-workers wanted to watch when I used to work nights at a home shopping channel. Needless to say, I didn't know what the fuck Lost was. Then it happened. I suffered a horrible bout with the flu. I was on quarantined lock down (by decree of my old man) and exiled to the couch. But my old man felt sorry for me and brought me the first season of Lost to keep me company while I fought off the flu.
At first, I was really confused. I had a high fever and the whole first season felt like a fever dream. Polar bears. On a tropical island? A plane crash with a preggers chick? That dude from Lord of the Rings as a drug addict? That guy from Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet with a kid and a dog (that liked to run away). Okay, okay. It makes sense. I'm an X Files fan. There's something more to it than this. Cool. I can dig it.
Then, I tried watching season 2. At first, I was a little upset because there hadn't been a casualty at all and then they kill off the hottest guy on the damn show at the end of season 1 and I didn't want to give it another try but I did. Enter the "lost" Lost jokes. I was lost trying to watch Lost. (And those jokes never ended, btw).
My old man and I have been talking about getting all the seasons up till now (this was said at the start of the final season), catching up and getting wrapped up in the finale. But that didn't happen. We didn't really have a strong desire to get all caught up with Lost. Especially not after our new favourite show started airing: Fringe (also the brainchild of J.J. Abrams). So, what were we to do?
Of course we didn't watch any part of Lost leading up to the series finale but I couldn't help myself. Fox was showing Something Something Something Dark Side by Family Guy and I'd already seen it too many times so, I flipped on over to ABC and couldn't stop.
Who were these new people? Who was Ben Linus? Who was Desmond? Who the fuck was Juliet? Where was Michael and Walt and their damn dog? The flashbacks didn't phase me either - since that's what the show was based around anyway. But what struck me as odd was the double flashbacks. After about the third one, that's when I knew what was wrong with everyone. That's when I knew they were all dead. And M. Fox trying to avoid having flashbacks made it even more obvious.
But why 2 1/2 hours? I guess it would have made more sense if I had followed the show from beginning to end but even the internet crowd was divided. Half the people I follow on Tumblr (my safe place to "live blog" shows), were just as confused - which leads me to the same conclusion: it would make way more sense if I had kept up (I hope).
Okay, okay. Snowglobe theory: sort of correct. The Others theory: Check. Sixth Sense: Check. I've seen enough horror and suspense movies to see that coming a mile away (which kinda sucks because a lot of plots have been ruined because of that [see Community's season finale with Jeff and Annie]) but it makes me wonder about my other J.J. Abrams love: Fringe.
We know there's an alternate universe on Fringe. And we know that BizarrOlivia and regular Olivia switched places at the end of this season. Snowglobe theory again? Possibly. But both worlds are aware of each other. Well, at least both Fringe Divisions anyway. So...where could this go?
J.J. Abrams is a creative, sci-fi reimaginer. If anyone could take it beyond our realm of understanding and open our minds to even more possiblities, Abrams can. I'm ready for the mindfuck that is Fringe to get bigger, better and more other worldly.

Bring it on.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

From Nate's sister Alysia...

...(via her FB page):

The trial date is September 17th. The defense is going to try to say that Nate was a reckless driver and an irresponsible, party guy. Even if that was true would it change the fact that a 16 yr old idiot that didn't know how to drive pulled out in front of him?! Would it make Nate's life LESS valuable and therefore make that boy less culpable?! I am beyond enraged.

I knew Nate for a billion years and I'm trying to figure out what would make him an "irresponsible party guy". Was it because he just happened to be a bouncer at a strip club? Was it because he didn't get home till 4am on Sunday mornings (because that's when his shift was over at the strip club). Was it because he had a motorcycle and a car but he preferred to ride his motorcycle? Was it because he and his other bike-riding friends would take bike trips to North Georgia and even cross country? <>That sounds like a crazy, irresponsible party < / sarcasm>.

Nate was a good guy. In fact, Nate was one of the best guys I had ever had the pleasure of knowing. He was always a gentleman (to me), he was modest about his amazing bass skills and thought he wasn't all that great. Ever since I was 17, I remember telling him how great he was. Sure, we had our moments but he always took the high road - even when I was acting like a bratty teenager. (Cut me some slack, I was a teenager after all!) Even when we reconnected a few years ago, there was nothing out of the ordinary in his life. Sure, he worked at a strip club but so what! That didn't make him a criminal. Sure, he had motorcycles but that didn't make him a danger to society. Nate always took his motorcycle riding seriously. I know that for a fact because we talked in depth about one of his longer bike trips that he had just made. The guys he rode with were like brothers - they all made sure everyone was safe and having a good time. Nate was very clear on the safety part (because I made a friendly dig at his nerdy "safety first" speech).
But the above statement from Alysia hurts me. Nate wasn't a reckless driver or an irresponsible party guy. What a cheap jab. I mean, that 16 year old kid did take a life and he should get some kind of jail time for that. And I'm pretty sure that that kid had just gotten his driver's license, too. Talk about reckless driver.
I'm thankful every day that my Mom made me wait until I was 18 to drive. It makes sense now (back when I was 16, it didn't, obviously). I was more responsible when I was 18 and because I was driving my Mom's car, I was super careful about driving. God knows what would have happened if I had wrecked that thing (or run somebody over with it).
Nate was a great guy and this "party guy" defense thing is killing me. I hope I can be in court that day to show my support for Nate and his family.

Love and kisses,